Against the backdrop of Game 7 of the 2001 World Series, Euchner provides a scientific, analytical view of the mechanics of baseball. It is Remy’s book on steroids. The book takes you inning by inning, batter by batter, pitch by pitch, and gives terrific insight into how and why every play unfolds as it did.
The fact that the game was Schilling versus Clemens makes it of particular interest to Sox fans. Game 7 was a fierce battle of wills between these two pitchers. The entire series was special as it began the healing process following the attacks on the World Trade Center, and Game 7 was not at all anticlimactic, it was baseball in its purest form.
Euchner smoothly interweaves the drama and emotion of watching a game with statistical analysis and scientific breakdowns of pitching wind-ups and batting stances. In a word, the book is fascinating. I took great delight in reading the statistical proof that Derek Jeter is a below average fielding shortstop, something my eyes have told me for years.
The book is filled with quotes about the game from players, coaches and broadcasters. There is great insight into the chess match that developed in Game 7. Brenley unwilling to use Byung-Hyun Kim. Torre deciding to pitch Rivera for two innings. Brenley letting Schilling bat late in the game. Great stuff. For Red Sox fans there is the added bonus, as the title suggests, that it is the last nine innings in the Yankee dynasty.
As the tagline reads on the cover, you’ll never watch a baseball game the same way.